Sorry It Has Been So Long

Trip Start Aug 13, 2006
Trip End Aug 12, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006
Well how about that another 10 days went by and I have written nothing.  I swear I keep thinking about posting a blog.  In fact I am certain that I have said that several times in the last oops 2 months.  So here it is.  I will post whatever I have done tonight and let the chips fall where they may and do my best not to get in to this writing hole again.  I forgot that when digging yourself a hole that you should throw the shovel away as soon as you realize that you are digging.  Unless of course you actually want to have a deep hole. 
OK so what have we been up to?  Well in the last week we have really over funned ourselves.  Yes I said it over funned.  My mom gave us one of those vacation packages where you have to go to a presentation to get Disney tickets and a few nights at a hotel.  Thanks mom!  And I really mean it the hotel stay was great and we really had a fantastic time at the theme parks.  The poor guys that tried to sell us a time share are still talking about the crazy family that likes to travel around in their 1980 Dodge camper with horns.  Apparently there are better ways to travel according to the timeshare people.  We were however given the 60 minute presentation not the 90 once we showed them the van lol. 

We have now fulfilled our commitment to the kids and done the Orlando theme park thing.  We did not however go to Disney.  No no we decided to do Universal where the rides are bigger, faster, louder and better.  It is all true.  We had a blast.  But we totally over funned ourselves.  Have you ever spent 7 days straight at a theme park?  We are exhausted. 
So now I am sitting in a hotel at the second part of our time share presentation stay in Daytona.  Because we did not buy in Orlando we had to sit through another presentation, I took our presenter directly out to the van and said we really liked to travel this way and we appreciated the few nights out of the van in the hotel but we are really not interested and believe it or not he took me seriously.  LMAO!!!!!
We have had a great day sitting on the beach boogie boarding and lounging by the pool.  AHHHH the life of Riley.  It is going to be tough getting back to the reality of being in the van.  So maybe we won't for only 59.95 we get to stay at a 4 star resort for 3 nights and 4 days with only one annoying 90 minute presentation in St Augustine.  You know a guy could get used to this.  They are even going to throw in a $50 gift certificate for dinner one night and we get a $25 coupon a Bass Pro.   I think I may just have figured out how to afford to stay in Florida a little longer.
Now for the back issues of our trip.  I have been writing a little so here is what there is and will work on getting all the gaps filled in for y'all.  We are still in the South ya know.
Friday, December 08, 2006
OK, OK, so now it has been a really long time since any up dates.  I am sure y'all are wondering now what has been going on with the traveling Hopes?  Well we have been having tons of fun and adventure.  Meeting new people seeing new sights and generally trying to live in the moment. 
I have a number of excuses for not writing recently, I won't go into all of them but the two main ones are these.  1) We have really just been too busy traveling and hanging out with such cool people that I get caught up in the moment and I am too tired at night to write anything.  2) We have meet and stayed at so many wonderful peoples homes that I cannot adequately describe each experience.  I am committed to working on it and letting y'all know about what we have been doing. 
So here is the new disclaimer.  If we have stayed at your home on this journey and you are reading this you were the best LMAO.  But really folks each experience has been special in its own way and we have cherished each one.  So here it is I will continue with the up date.
I have found some time to write in the last 2 months so I will post all of that and hopefully there will not be too many gaps.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
OK, I know it has been a while since I have updated the blog, but what can I say we have been very busy lol.  Actually I just have not taken the time to sit down and do any writing.  We have had lots of places to stay indoors and great company to do it with.  Since the last time I updated our adventure for y'all we were still in Canada.  Perhaps it is the American influence that has had me mute?
So here is the attempt at bringing us back up to the present.  There have been lots of adventures in the meantime and I am sure that in not writing everything down I have forgotten half of it.  Fortunately I had done a little bit of writing so I will start there and pick up were I left off to fill in the gaps.  After over a month of not writing I guess those could be gaping holes not gaps, but I will try my best not to write War and Peace for you even if I am writing in the South LMAO.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Well, how do I describe the last week adequately?  It is very difficult because it really has been fantastic.  We really have not done much and that might be why it was so nice.  However; I think that it was the company that kept us and the HOME we got to stay in with our friend Carl.
Carl lives in Hancock, Maine and for starters has one of the nicest vegetable gardens we have ever seen.  This is the place we stopped over for the night a couple of months ago when we were headed for Newfoundland and scared Carl's son Gus.  Turns out that Gus was not too scared and rather pleased with our presence as April had done all of his dishes along with our own.
Secondly our friend Jan from Dancing Bones also tagged along with us for a self prescribed holiday.  The energy in Carl's home was yummy, along with all the fresh bounty of the garden, complete with a chubby orange cat named Beanie.
We arrived last Friday evening with Jan who rode on the bed in the van, to homemade vegetable/muscle soup and warm corn bread.  Perfect after the long drive out of the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Our purpose in coming back to Carl's house was for a Saturday night contra dance where his band played live music.  Carl had invited me to play the bodhran with them.  For those of you not familiar with contra dance it is essentially Irish folk dance done to very Irish music.  In New England contra dance is a very popular thing to do for all ages.  Saturday night was lots of fun.  We all danced and as promised I got to play the drum.  
We also got to meet a couple named John and Irene, who are in the process of starting an intentional community near Carl's house.  Check out the pictures John has built the coolest sod roofed house I have seen since L'Anse Aux Meadows.  They are doing their best to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and live off the grid.  We went back on Sunday morning to their place and used an antique apple press to make about 30 gallons of apple cider.  Tough work but delicious.
The rest of the time at Carl's was spent relaxing and seeing some of the local sights.  Not too much traveling and lots of fresh veggies.  There was music most nights and even some circle dancing in the living room.  We also read a couple of short plays one evening with Carl and the kids.  I also got a chance to transfer a number of CD's to our mass storage device and figured out how to burn wma files for the van stereo to play.  Who would have thought that I would finally get around to the 21st century and mass music devices?  Did any of you know that you can squeeze 10 discs onto one in the .wma format?  Very cool.
So it was off to Massachusetts and again with passengers.  John and Irene our new friends starting an eco community were looking for a ride to western Mass.  We said sure.  It did mean leaving Carl's a day sooner than we would have wanted but that is the way of the un-aimed arrow.  With a heart felt fare well to Carl and a big thanks for such a wonderful place to stay we departed with our new traveling companions.
When we left Maine we did not have anywhere to be until Saturday night and we were leaving on Thursday.  Our Saturday plans were to go to Newburyport, Ma for circle dancing to live music played by our new friend Ashara's band the Village Circle Band, check there web site as Ashara would really appreciate the hits
Anyhow, enough of the promotion we really did not have to be anywhere for a couple of days so we took John and Irene to their destination just outside of Amherst Ma where John's sister and brother live, same land different houses LOL.  We spent most of our time at his sister's house Misha and her husband Bob.  I got to do more of my favorite work, splitting wood, which I am sure more than paid for our accommodations for the couple of nights
Amherst was a very pretty little college town with lots of internet café's and cool shops.  We did not get to spend as much time there as we would have liked but that is just the way of it.  All too soon it was time to move on but before we did I got another chance to play the bodhran with John at an old folks home where his father now lives.  More fun, then it was off to Newburyport for our dance night. 
At this point our plan was to go to the dance and come back to Ashara's for some driveway space to crash for the night and then head south.  Good thing our plans rarely turn out how we expect.  Ashara had just gotten rid of house guests and was looking forward to some time alone when we showed up.  It is a good thing some of us are cute because she invited us into the house.  Little did any of us know that we would be staying there for almost two weeks.  It would seem that we make good house guests as there is always some little repair that needs doing and April is a great cook and we are great company.  Or so we have been told.
While we developed our friendship with Ashara we also got to do lots of sight seeing in the Boston area.  Ashara's house is very close to the commuter rail system and so we went into Boston one day on the train checked out the city a little and we also went to the Boston Aquarium.  The Aquarium was great.  They have a number of penguins living there that proved to be very amusing.  We got to see the zookeepers feed them and they also gave a great explanation of the habitat that had been created for them.  The highlight for me; however, was when a breeding pair of penguins were doing just that while the marine biologist was giving his presentation to a rather wide variety of ages.  He was a little embarrassed while the crowd had a good chuckle.  See pics LOL.
We also day tripped into Salem a few times.  It seemed to hold a real attraction for all of us, but particularly Evelyn and I.  Being there the week before Halloween was rather interesting as the city is all about the witch thing.   It was a fun freak show and I think that we may have even been participants.  We got to see lots there went to the docks in Salem and I never realized that Salem Ma was such a huge shipping power back in the 16 and 1700's.  Apparently it was the war of 1812 that really knocked the poop out of the shipping in the area as it all moved down to Boston there after.  Guess we showed them lol.  It was rather humorous too when I pointed that out to the park ranger who said that there was really no decisive winner of the war.
We got to spend Halloween with Ashara and we also got to make a couple of new friends Bob and his wife Lauren who live close to Ashara.  I wish that we could have spent more time getting to know them as we really enjoyed their company.   I did get to have some fun in Bob's basement installing a hanging ceiling.  Hope that the rest of the reno in the basement goes well.
All too soon we were leaving our new found friends which made getting ready to leave Mass was very difficult but we needed to get to Virginia!   We couldn't stay another day or could we?  We thought that we were leaving Ashara's that day.  I think that would have been the 3rd of November.  In fact we packed up all of our stuff in the van and everything. Left the drive way choking back tears and even got all the way to the next town, when some one came honking up behind us and I do mean honking their horn that is telling us that the trailer door was open and that we had lost a few things.  Sigh!!!!!!  You can't be serious.  I jumped out of the van to find most of our belongings still there.  But what was missing?
Turns out we lost our important papers and business stuff and a couple of back packs a number of blocks back and around the corner.  By the time we got there it was nothing but an explosion of papers across a busy street in the outskirts of Salem.  There was paper everywhere.  An ominous cloud of important stuff, like April's immigration papers.  Words can do no justice to the expression on our faces as rush hour motorist were driving over April's carefully filed business box.  We must have been quite the sight with the van in the middle of the street blocking traffic picking up volumes of important stuff with the kids hanging out of the windows.  I can look back on it now almost two months later and have a chuckle not yet a laugh as it really was me that did not close the trailer door properly. 
We found our back packs in the wheel well of a woman's car about half a mile down the street.  She had driven over them sucked them up into her car and kept driving until she smelled smoke.  So after picking up our traffic ravaged papers I now had to jack up this woman's car take off her front tire and liberate our now useless backpacks, which I might add had all the kids Halloween candy in them.  Man talk about feeling stupid.  One of life's little lessons.  Always check to see that the trailer is locked shut properly before leaving anywhere.  In the last little while I have pulled over for no good reason other than to make sure I closed the trailer door properly.
Needless to say after this ridiculous experience we went back to Ashara's with our trailer between our legs and stayed another night.  Turns out that we rescued all of our important papers from the road.  Tire marks and all.  The only real causalities were the back packs and my pride.  Lesson learned.
So the next morning we repacked our things and headed for Virginia via New York, Washington, Delaware and Maryland.   More tomorrow.  Good night all.
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